Journal

 

I started this journal as a quiet way to reflect on my daily life as a mum and how that converges with the creative process as an artist.  It is messy but always inspiring.

My wish is that one day my daughters chase their foolish dreams and always embrace the beauty of being a woman...

 

defining moments at 40

A few months ago I turned 40 (gulp) which brought about a new wave of reflection. I began to think about all the defining moments that have shaped my art.


big sur, california

When my husband and I lived in California, we took a road trip up the Pacific Coast Highway. The most stunning road trip I have ever been on. When we reached Big Sur, the mountains magically melted into the ocean. This is where we got engaged. The bright pink magenta in many of my paintings will always be a hint at the lush bougainvillea and that mystical time along the coast.

Swoon, 2017

my first designer dress

It was a Nicole Miller. I scored it my last year in college at Neiman Marcus’ “Last Call” shop at 75% off. It felt like I won the lottery, even though it was still the most I had ever spent on clothing.

the first designer dress I wanted to paint

It was an Alexander McQueen…and it ignited my obsession with fashion as art.

Sleeping Ball Gown, 2011


Winged Victory of Samothrace at the louvre, paris

This was the most dynamic sculpture. I often use this glorifying forward motion in my dress paintings. It is feminine and strong and I adore it.

Ophelia, 2017

thorne miniature rooms at the chicago art institute

I was gobsmacked when I saw these tiny rooms so meticulously constructed. I couldn’t take my eyes off of them. The story behind Mrs. James Ward Thorne is equally intriguing. Thus began my love of interiors and capturing them as art.

One of my first interior paintings from 2011

finally, louisa may alcott

I have read about many historical women which have inspired my portraits - from Catherine the Great to Beatrix Potter - all of whom defied the odds with unique vision. But Louisa May Alcott has stuck with me unlike any other. The amount of love and genius she poured out to support her family is unfathomable. She is an inspiration I hold dear in my heart and will never forget her story.

One of my first historical female portraits from 2013, Coddington

giving thanks in a New Year

 

As I reflect upon this year's past, I think of all the quiet hours alone in the studio....

...all the layers of paint...

...messy moments with the girls...

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All the time in the studio is a marvel.  

I pinch myself every day that I get to paint for a living.  I will look back on this time with my daughters as one of the greatest gifts.

I leave on a note of gratitude to my husband who is always, always there for me during this beautiful chaos of creating art... 

...and to my favorite artist, Jeremiah Goodman, who we lost this past year.  A true gentleman, he was so kind to review my work when just starting out.  He gave me the confidence to go forward and pursue my dream.  A heartfelt thank you, Jeremiah.

A young Jeremiah with a few of his fabulous paintings....

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" "A door must be open or shut," a proverb by Alfred de Musset...many doors were opened for me, and for this I am thankful!"  -  Jeremiah Goodman

My sentiments exactly.

 

 

Shakespeare said it best...

Earlier on in my career, I was once told my work was too romantic.  Taking it to heart, I fervently worked to be more avant-garde and edgy.  The work resulted in lackluster failure.  My heart was nowhere to be found on the canvas.

Looking at old journals as a young girl, I realized from the collage images I have always been a romantic.

Shakespeare said it best, "This above all: to thine own self be true."

A Nutcracker Christmas

Waltz of the Flowers, 72 x 48

Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker influenced my latest works at this time of Christmas.  I imagine vibrant flora dancing inside a miniature set of The Paris Opera Ballet...

...with dewdrops of white lace like this couture piece by Franck Sorbier...

...and my very own sugar plum fairies (at times)...

...gifts waltzing among vintage still life and velvet ribbon...

I discovered paper from Pepin Press with still life flowers, tabletop fruits, vegetables...who wouldn't want a gift wrapped in lemon peel & asparagus?

I depart with a quote from one of my favorite authors, Charles Dickens, and movies of all time, A Christmas Carol with George C. Scott (the Muppets version is a close second).

"I will honor Christmas in my heart and try to keep it all the year.

God bless us, every one."

Merry Christmas!

the art of names

When choosing names for my daughters, I looked to my favorite paintings and figures from the past, naturally!  

Josephine Emma is named after my Grandfather, Joseph, and my husband's Great Grandmother, Emma, both of whom were dearly loved.  

These photos of Joe and Emma adorn our fireplace mantel.  They are a source of spirited elegance.

I also can't discount the fact that I've always liked the name Josephine from French history and one of the most brilliant paintings, The Coronation of Napoleon by Jacques-Louis David.

And, of course, the infamous character of Louisa May Alcott's Jo March of Little Women...played to perfection by Winona Ryder in the 1994 adaptation.

Then there's Little Miss Cecilia Lee, with the same middle name as myself, and Cecilia has been a favorite of mine from John William Waterhouse's painting Saint Cecilia (luckily my husband agreed to it).

Truth be told, I could live out the rest of my days in that dress she is wearing....sigh.

a new studio

A new baby, house and studio!  This exquisite studio was originally designed by portrait and fresco artist Mark Balma.  I am beyond grateful to have this space to dream, paint and dance with my girls.

the beginning

Josie and mum in the studio, 2014

 "Pour Josette", 2015

A painting for Josie's bedroom

Art supply shopping, 2015

A new arrival, Cecilia, with big sister Josephine, 2016

...the studio gets crowded and the painting...a bit more complicated.